MY RETURN TO ART AFTER 26 YEARS
Although I'd graduated from the University of Guelph with a Fine Art Major in 1980, as the years passed, I'd actually forgotten that I possessed the ability to paint because of my battle with MS. As a matter of fact, with the way my brain was working, I didn't have any idea that I would ever make art again – until an improvement in my health began 26 years later.
In 2008, traveling to China with my husband became a kick-start-art-creating event for me. And even though that trip was an arduous journey, with airport delays, lost luggage, climbing endless steps and much more hard work, I found the 3 weeks were a very positive turn in my life.
We spent our time mostly in Zhumadian, Henan Province – it was a very different world and I fell in love with the people. I took thousands of photos with my digital camera, and voila, had subject matter to paint for decades if I wanted. (See some of my china paintings on this website. My trip blog is here: chinainjune.blogspot.ca)
Painting realistically from my own photographs was my comfort zone, but I also began creating textured abstracts using leftover materials. Not until many years later did I begin showing these abstract upcycled paintings (textured with recycled objects), and they're becoming very well loved.
One of my life's discoveries is: If you're an artist inside, it will eventually come out of you - no matter what struggles you go through, no matter who discourages you, no matter where you happen to be, no matter how long it takes.
AWARDS and SHOWS:
1980 Heinz Jordan Scholarship from the University of Guelph
2009 Pauling Manning Award for “Chinese Tricycle” at the Contemporary Art Society’s Juried Show at the Public Archives downtown Halifax, NS
2009 Honourable Mention for a mixed media piece “Three Boats”.
2010 The Mayor’s Award (at the Contemporary Art Society’s Juried Show at the Public Archives (downtown Halifax, NS) for “Tricycle with Bamboo” (a full-sized print of that painting now resides in the Mayor’s office).
2013 Group show at the Dartmouth Heritage Museum (2 abstracts)
2014 Group show at the DART Gallery, Dartmouth (1 abstract)
2016 Parkland at the Lakes month-long group display (10 art pieces - 6 abstracts and 4 oil pastels)
2016 People’s Choice Award for “Lewis Head Beach” with the Dartmouth Visual Art Society
2009-12 Showed and served with the Contemporary Art Society, Halifax, NS
2012-now Showing and serving with Dartmouth Visual Art Society (2-4 shows per year)
2015- Lady Luck Boutique sells my greeting cards
2017- being represented by Visual Voice Fine Art in Truro, Nova Scotia
2018 - first solo show to be in May at Visual Voice Fine Art
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID:
"I just came from a full visit to your blogpost of March 21, "Why make mixed-media art, you ask?" That blogpost has BEAU-TI-FUL visuals, and very well turned text! Loved reading it; if you composed it yourself, you're a natural at writing. I also checked out some of your earlier blogposts - your portraits are perfect and showing a very pleasant personal style, just as your different style for your flowers - just wow on everything. Did I mention your upcycled art?! Definitely requires another mention - It's awesome. All the pieces on that blogpost. You obviously have strong esthetic knowledge and ability. You've got a very solid body of artwork." Rachelle Valéri
"You are a creative soul!!!"
"Your development as an artist is amazing. I love seeing the process and the challenges along the way."
"Went through your studio visit and I like not only the art but especially the names of your creations!!! Creativity with words!! Made me smile!!"
"I love this painting, Northumberland Strait Evening. I can just about smell the salt air when I look at it!"
"You have some very beautiful artwork here. Thanks for sharing."